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Argentina's vice president is found guilty of corruption

Argentine Vice President Cristina Fernández de Kirchner greets supporters as she leaves her home in Buenos Aires, Argentina, on Aug. 23.
Rodrigo Abd
/
AP
Argentine Vice President Cristina Fernández de Kirchner greets supporters as she leaves her home in Buenos Aires, Argentina, on Aug. 23.

Argentina's vice president, Cristina Fernández de Kirchner, was found guilty of corruption in federal court Tuesday in a case dating back to when she was president.

A three judge panel sentenced Kirchner to six years in prison and a lifetime ban from holding political office.

Prosecutors say she worked with others to skim nearly $1 billion from fake contracts and bogus construction of 51 public works projects when she was president.

Kirchner served as Argentina's president between 2007 and 2015 and masterminded a political comeback in 2019, running for vice president with Alberto Fernández.

Kirchner denies any wrongdoing and spoke right after the verdict, saying she is the target of the judges, whom she called a mafia running a parallel party bent on keeping her out of office.

Kirchner will not be jailed while appealing the verdict, which could take years.

She is a polarizing figure in Argentina, seen by her loyal base as a champion of the poor. Others blame her for the country's continual economic problems including inflation, which is expected to hit 100% by year's end.

Copyright 2023 NPR. To see more, visit https://www.npr.org.

Carrie Kahn is NPR's International Correspondent based in Mexico City, Mexico. She covers Mexico, the Caribbean, and Central America. Kahn's reports can be heard on NPR's award-winning news programs including All Things Considered, Morning Edition and Weekend Edition, and on NPR.org.

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